10 Mind-Blowing Theories That Will Change Your Perception of the World

/, Physics & Natural Sciences, Psychology & Mental Health, Uncommon Science/10 Mind-Blowing Theories That Will Change Your Perception of the World

10 Mind-Blowing Theories That Will Change Your Perception of the World

The reality is not as obvious and simple as we like to think.

Some of the things that we accept as true and take at face value are notoriously wrong.

Scientists and philosophers have made every effort to change our common perceptions of it. The 10 examples below will show you what I mean.

1. Big Freeze.

Big Freeze is the theory of the final state that our universe is heading toward. The universe has a limited supply of energy. According to this theory, when that energy finally runs out, the universe will devolve into a frozen state. The thermal energy produced by the motion of the particles will gradually wear out, which means that eventually, this particle motion will slow down and, presumably, one day, everything will stop.

2. Solipsism.

Solipsism is a philosophical theory, which asserts that nothing exists but the individual’s consciousness. At first, it seems silly, but if you think about it, it really is impossible to verify anything but your own consciousness.

To check this out, take a moment to recall all the dreams that you have experienced in your life. Is it not possible that everything around you is nothing but an incredibly intricate dream? But, you may say, there are people and things around us that we cannot doubt because we can hear, see, smell, taste and feel them, right? Yes, and no. People who take LSD, for example, say that they can touch the most convincing hallucinations, but we do not claim that their visions are a “reality”. Your dreams can simulate sensations as well. After all, what you perceive is just a product of the information processing that takes place in different sections of your brain.

As a result, which parts of existence can we not doubt? Probably none. Each of us can only be sure of their own thoughts.

3. Idealism

George Berkeley, the father of Idealism, argued that everything exists as an idea in someone’s mind. Berkley discovered that some of his peers considered his theory to be stupid. The story goes that one of his opponents kicked a stone with his eyes closed and said, “I disprove it thus!”

The idea was that if the stone really only existed in his imagination, he could not have kicked it with his eyes closed. The way Berkeley refuted this is hard to understand, especially in these days. He argued that there was an omnipotent and omnipresent God who was able to see everything simultaneously.

4. Plato and the Logos.

reality illusionEverybody has heard of Plato. He is one of the world’s most famous philosophers. Like all philosophers, he had a few things to say about the nature of reality. He argued that beyond our perceived reality, there lies a world of “perfect” forms. Everything that we see is just a shade, an imitation of how things truly are. To learn more about these ideas, read about Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which is a sort of the ‘Matrix‘ in its ancient version.

Plato argued that by studying philosophy, we have a chance of catching a glimpse of how things truly are and discovering the perfect forms of everything we perceive.

In addition to this stunning statement, Plato, being a monist, said that everything is made of a single substance. This means (according to him) that everything – from stars in the sky to the dust under your bed – consists of the same basic material, but in a different form. With the discovery of atoms and molecules, it has been proven true to an extent.

5. Presentism.

Time is something that we perceive as a reality. Of course, we usually divide it into the past, present and future. Presentism argues that the past and the future are imagined concepts while only the present is real.

In other words, today’s breakfast and every word of this article will cease to exist after you finish reading it until you open it to read it again. The future is just as imaginary because the time cannot exist before and after it happened, as claimed by St. Augustine.

6. Eternalism.

Eternalism is the exact opposite of presentism. This is a philosophical theory that says that time is multi-layered. All layers of the time exist simultaneously, but the measurement is determined by the observer. What they see depends on which point they are looking at.

Thus, dinosaurs, Queen Victoria and Justin Bieber all exist simultaneously but can only be observed from a specific location. If one takes this view of reality, then the future is hopeless and the deterministic free will is illusory.

7. The Brain in a Jar

The “brain in a jar” thought experiment is a question discussed by thinkers and scientists who, like most people, believe that one’s understanding of reality depends solely on their subjective feelings.

So, what is the essence of this thought experiment? Imagine that you are just a brain in a jar that is run by aliens or mad scientists. How would you know? And can you truly deny the possibility that this is your reality?

This is a modern interpretation of Descartes’ evil demon problem. This thought experiment leads to the same conclusion: we cannot confirm the actual existence of anything except our consciousness. If this seems to sound reminiscent of the movie “The Matrix“, it is only because this idea was part of the very basis of the story. Unfortunately, in reality, we have no red pills…

8. The Multiverse Theory

multiverse reality

art by Sam del Russi – samdelrussi.artistwebsites.com

Anyone who has not spent the last ten years on a desert island has heard of “the multiverse” or parallel universes at least once. As many of us have seen, parallel words, in theory, are worlds very similar to ours, with little (or in some cases, large) changes or differences. The multiverse theory speculates that there could exist an infinite number of these alternate realities.

What’s the point? In a parallel reality, you may be living in the opposite corner of the world or may have already died in a car crash. In another one, you might have never even been born because your parents never met. The probabilities are endless.

9. Fictional realism.

This is probably the most fascinating branch of the multiverse theory. Superman is real. Yes, some of you would probably choose a different story, for argument’s sake, Harry Potter might be real too. This branch of the theory argues that given an infinite number of universes, everything must exist somewhere. So, all of our favorite fiction and fantasy may be descriptive of an alternate universe, one where all the right pieces came into place to make it happen.

10. Phenomenalism.

Everyone is interested in what happens to things when we aren’t looking at them. Scientists have carefully studied this problem and some of them came to a simple conclusion – they disappear. Well, not quite like this. Phenomenalist philosophers believe that objects only exist as a phenomenon of consciousness. So, your laptop is only here while you are aware of it and believe in its existence, but when you turn away from it, it ceases to exist until you or someone else interacts with it. There is no existence without perception. This is the root of phenomenalism.

Which of these mind-blowing theories about the nature of reality appeal to you most of all? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

H/T listverse.com
art by Victoria Audouard

Shares
The following two tabs change content below.

Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website Learning-mind.com. She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.




Copyright © 2017 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

382 Comments

  1. Kaiser Basileus April 11, 2017 at 3:22 am - Reply

    Here’s my answer to all those points:

    https://plus.google.com/+KeisarBetancourt/posts/Xve4yZHA24S

    • Harley May 4, 2017 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      I was thinking alright lets see what you got kid and you brought it “good job”. All is one, all is thought. Whats faster than the speed of light? The thought that asked that question! All of creation are just sensory appendages of the Prime Creator Conciousness..I am the Tongue of God! etc. Theres only one of us here. Even creatures from outer space share with us sentience as unique aspects of a solitary consciousness.
      This story forgot the belief that all thought must inherently exist due to the inability to create a novelty outside ones experience. If I write a book about a monster I can only describe him using concepts and descriptive terms encountered in my environment, Hes big hairy, blue and has a googlybob on his forehead. The googlybob must be described the same way or through metaphor and simile. I think that relates to fictional realism. I met a girl who had a fairly good counter comment to that postulate but darned if I remember.

  2. Stephen Foord April 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Hi

    I am a reality scientist.
    I find the most substantial of the above to be idealism but as a development of the Descartes classification of orders of evidence into matter, mind, God realms. Because we cannot properly exclude properties of mind from our models of reality, it is hard to say reality does not itself rest on properties of mind. I developed that approach to foundations of science in one of my books. Our mind is like the engine to a toy car as what makes models make sense to us. We breath life into models.
    It actually lead me to another class of theory not in the list above which is the idea of legitimate science. Newton led in that field by implying proper scientists do not not frame hypotheses. All the ideas above could be seen as hypotheses to frame. In court framing a hypothesis does not prove it true.
    The true theory of reality in court is that which can be deduced by fair deductive reason applied to the available facts of the universe. Such a theory does not necessarily exist but if it does then courts should test for it.

  3. michael May 11, 2017 at 2:29 am - Reply

    interesting information you just share, keep the good work

  4. Sunil June 5, 2017 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Adding one more possibility
    it could be that we ‘exist ‘ only now.. and never existed before or will never exist after.
    How?
    If we are have been intelligently preprogrammed with datas of past and future events then we feel that it exist..suppose we program a robot as such..it can behave as per these datas. right?
    Now if the programmer also added the datas from the ‘present’ ..then our existence is just illusion. This can be true also.. how can we disapprove this?

  5. d shekhar July 1, 2017 at 9:46 am - Reply

    the Plato theory appeals to me the most ! Everything that we see is just a shade, an imitation of how things truly are.
    Astrology is a science that proves that we are an imitation of perfect laws of universe. Its like we are the puppets played by some supreme power and the only control we have is our mind , still every mind is premolded to act in a certain way according to zodiacs . Once we realize this we can mold our mind to any direections.
    Similar concept was excellently displayed in ‘Matrix’ movie .

  6. jake August 10, 2017 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Phenomenalism. because i heard before a theory seems like phenomenalism .which is quantum physics/mechanics
    my head hurts aches when i try to imagine there isn’t no past or future. usually i’m good with imagination but these . no i couldn’t

  7. Beth Rocha September 8, 2017 at 2:29 am - Reply

    Mind=blown

  8. Thoka September 28, 2017 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    You all should read the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita to look into “theory” that is thousands of years old. The gods have names with hidden meanings, and much is directly explained in terms of the order of the All (matter, time, space etc.). Also… Christopher Wallace is the author (and also a practitioner) of Shaiva Tantra, where we exist as contractions of possibility, that beyond thought, beyond our waking limited perception of reality, lie states of consciousness that allow for expanded understanding. We need more focus on these ancient “sciences”, where great wisdoms are written.

  9. Suleiman Narsimdhani October 8, 2017 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Here I am reading this article, I scroll up and I scroll down…one thing for sure we are not preprogrammed. I could chose to close this browser or as I chose to comment. We are free willed. As far as reality is concerned, we must ask ourselves on what basic grounds we stand in our minds to have such a question as what is reality?

  10. Randy October 16, 2017 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    If we had no senses to confuse things we might then become aware of the simple truth.

  11. Jean November 1, 2017 at 9:44 am - Reply

    The One Mind theory rings true with me. I believe that everything is connected – at a quantum level, or nonlocal, if you will. Makes sense, as we truly are made of star dust from the Big Bang.

  12. Shelli November 9, 2017 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Astrology is not a science.

Leave A Comment